In a recent survey of more than 315 corporate professionals conducted by H5 and Above the Law, 63 percent believe that investigations will increase at their companies over the next three years. The survey, conducted in July and August of 2019, sought insights from legal and compliance professionals whose roles directly relate to various aspects of corporate investigations.
The drivers of investigations are intensifying. Companies are becoming more engaged in addressing employee behavior that breeds misconduct, leading to an increase in what survey respondents say is the most frequent investigation type: workplace investigations. Nearly half of respondents said their companies face more than 50 potential investigations per year — 22 percent said more than 100 — with larger companies facing even more. A continued increase can only put more strain on both legal and compliance teams.
Having a plan in place in advance of a potential incident reduces reaction time and sets the stage for a more efficient response. Documented policies and protocols, along with appropriate training of both employees and response teams are crucial components. And, depending on the industry and types of data stored by a corporation, the ability to adhere to a variety of new data privacy regulations — such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation, California Consumer Privacy Act and Biometric Information Privacy Act — is also key. Identifying where sensitive data resides is necessary under the new privacy regulations and is helpful in a cyber incident.